E3 is no longer just a trade show, it’s a world event that brings together gamers, writers, journalists and tech specialists to celebrate the culture that has become a dominant form of entertainment, earning billions of dollars in revenue every year, with each company trying to outdo each other in a bid to deliver the next digital smash hit.
This year’s E3 was one for the record books, a bombastic event filled with exciting game announcements, some of which have been anticipated for almost 10 years. In a show with a metric ton of announcements, here are the ten that I found the most noteworthy.
10. Star Wars Battlefront Gameplay trailer- After receiving some flak from fans for its initial lack of gameplay footage and announcement of less content than its prequels, Star Wars Battlefront could have easily been another chance for the internet to spew anger at developer DICE and publisher EA. Not only did the latest gameplay footage inspire awe with its intense gameplay where classic Star Wars characters and vehicles battled it out, but it also instilled hope that developer DICE was taking this project seriously and treating it with the respect and attention Star Wars fans and shooter fans demand.
9. Microsoft Shows PC Support for Games- With the upcoming release of Windows 10, Microsoft announced the release of big franchise games on PC such as Killer Instinct and Gears of War as well as Hello Games’s anticipated PS4 title No Man’s Sky also coming to PC. More than just straight ports, these titles will take advantage of Windows 10 features and 4K resolution. Hopefully this starts a trend for more PC titles that take advantage of higher and more flexible PC specs.
8. Xbox One Backwards Compatibility- While some don’t feel the need to reply their older games from past consoles, I love being able to pop in my older games without having to switch back and forth. Sadly this seems to be a feature largely omitted this generation with only Nintendo’s Wii U offering backwards compatibility support. This all changed as Microsoft announced that beginning this fall, the Xbox One would be backwards compatible with a handful of games, with more being added as time goes on. Finally! Time to retire the 360.
7. Doom- If you know FPS, you’ve surely heard of Doom. The legendary shooter has been laying low the last few years but now has come back bringing that fast paced and brutal gunplay that made the series famous. While it may not be an entirely old school shooter experience, it’s a happy medium between old and new and I can’t wait to enter hell and slay some pinky demons once again.
6. Rare Reply for Xbox One- Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct and Conker’s Bad Furday are legendary titles from our childhood, and a reminder of the amazing talent that used to work at Rareware Studios. Now 30 of some of Rare’s best titles (excluding Donkey Kong Country, Goldeneye and Diddy Kong Racing) will be available to play through the Rare Replay collection for Xbox One.
5. Platinum Games reaching superstar status- The Japanese studio specializing in over the top action titles has finally reached the superstar status their deserve after their Wii U hit Bayonetta 2. Not only are they attached to the upcoming sequel to cult hit Nier, they also are working on Transformers: Devastation, a cell shaded homage to the 80’s cartoon and Star Fox Zero, a Nintendo Wii U sequel to the 1997 N46 classic, Star Fox 64.
4. More New IPs- While new, original ideas are usually reserved for breakout indie titles and Kickstarter funded dream projects, it was refreshing to see some of the bigger publishers take on new studios and developers willing to create something outside the usual sequel factory assembly line. While games like Halo 5: Guardians and Gears 4 look great, seeing new stuff like the Xbox One’s Cuphead and Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn is a nice reminder that originality isn’t yet dead.
3. Shemnue III Kickstarter- In what is arguably one of the most talked about moments of E3, cult hit Shemnue III was announced during Sony’s Press Conference. While some were critical of creator Yu Suzuki’s and Sony’s method of raising funds, most fans were happy that this game was even in the process of being made. The game that had become the running joke of never showing up to the party had finally become a reality, a day diehard fans thought would never come.
2. Bethesda’s E3 Conference- Despite it being their first year hosting their own conference, Bethesda came out of the gate strong with some highly anticipated titles such as Doom, Dishonored 2 and of course, Fallout 4. A title that quickly made its way to many gamer’s “Most Anticipated of 2015” list.
1. Sony’s E3 Press Conference- Last Guardian? Check. Final Fantasy VII remake? Check. Shemnue III? Check. Some awesome looking Uncharted 4 footage (minus the false start)? Check. Everything Sony fans and video game fans for that matter have been clamoring for almost a decade came together in a few hours showing the competition how to keep fans, gain more fans and do what all game companies should be doing: giving the consumer the games they want.